The union of special (SR) and general (GR) relativity. Use this tag if both SR and GR apply.

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Space-like and time-like: where do the names come from?

Space-like separated events are events that, in a well-chosen reference frame, can take place at the same time but never happen at the same location. On the other hand for time-like events, one can ...
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127 views

Relativistic beaming - which power of the Doppler factor

The context is that I'm building a simulation of a starfield, as seen from a relativistic spaceship. (EDIT: the simulation can now be found here.) One reference that I'm using is this paper by John ...
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129 views

How is Momenergy frame independent?

momenergy = mass * spacetime displacement/proper time for that displacement What I dont understand is how can the momenergy be frame independent? The unit-4 vector always points in the direction of ...
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93 views

What is Einstein regarding as the problem of physical relativity in his lecture of 1923?

The following is the extract from Albert Einstein's lecture to the Nordic Assembly of Naturalists (July 11, 1923). If we consider that part of the theory of relativity which may nowadays in a ...
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156 views

Symmetries of relativistic Lagrangian and Hamiltonian systems

In non-relativistic mechanics, the conserved quantities found using Noethers theorem in Lagrangian mechanics are the same as those quantities which are conserved under canonical commutation with the ...
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1answer
111 views

What does $\nu$ mean in relativity?

I decided to teach myself relativity over the Christmas holiday, and I've gotten a bit stuck. Coordinates in space time can be defined by a collection of coordinates, $$ x^0 = ct \\ x^1 = x \\ x^2 = ...
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722 views

Does velocity or acceleration cause time dilation?

What causes time dilation? Acceleration or velocity? I've seen multiple comments on this forum that assert velocity is the cause, but that doesn't seem right to me. You can't have velocity without ...
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351 views

Gravitational Time Dilation with big masses

From Wikipedia I read that the formula for calculating the time dilation caused by a mass is $t_0 = t_f{\sqrt{1-\frac{2GM}{rc^2}}}$ where: $t_0$ is the proper time between events A and B for a ...
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296 views

Is my grandmother alive for some alien who is located on some place and is moving with some speed?

(I am science fiction writer. I had a goal in my novel to argue that time travel to past will not be available even in future. I asked here how to argue that. I collected answers and analyzed them and ...
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1answer
167 views

What is the significance of Einsteins postulate on speed of light?

Einstein postulated that the speed of light in free space is the same for all observers, regardless of their motion relative to the light source, where we may think of an observer as an imaginary ...
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1answer
116 views

Why do charge on an object remains unaffected by the motion of the object?

Unlike mass, the charge on an object is said to be unaffected by the motion of the object. This statement in my text book, is not yet understood by me. I don't know theory of relativity. On ...
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104 views

At near light speeds, are small objects in your path a problem?

A mental exercise: A space ship is accelerating toward me from far away. As it approaches me, I can observe its acceleration. This high speed ship keeps accelerating faster toward the speed of light. ...
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92 views

Is a particular force different in different frames

Can a particular real force have different magnitude in different frames?
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207 views

How to prove the raising/lowering indices operation?

I've read this related question, though it didn't satisfy me; I hope this complements it. I know that if I contract a covariant tensor ${A_{\alpha\beta}}$ with a vector ${B^\beta}$, I get some other ...
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36 views

Isn't Dark Matter just an Indication that Relativity breaks down when describing large masses? [duplicate]

It seems to me that Dark Matter is just an indication that our models of gravity do not scale to the level of galaxies, and thus like Newtonian physics, it is a powerful but incomplete model of the ...
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95 views

force on two particles moving with same velocity

When two charged particles having same charge $q$ are at rest, only electric force acts upon it: a repulsive force of magnitude $\frac{kq^2}{r^2}.$ Now let them move with a constant velocity ...
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2answers
208 views

Using gravity to send messages (at the speed of light) [duplicate]

I've been wondering what the current state of the art (both theoretically and practically) for sending messages using changes in a gravitational field is, and I have had a hard time finding ...
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1answer
142 views

How is relativistic N-body simulation possible without knowing the entire histories of each particle?

In n-body simulation you need to know the positions of the particles in order to calculate the force between them. The new velocity of each particle can then be calculated given a simulation timestep ...
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1answer
213 views

Will a relativistic rocket be destroyed by incident photons?

I have read, that as a rocket approaches light speed, objects in front of it become blue shifted and also intensity of light increases. Does this mean that at some point any rocket will be destroyed, ...
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1answer
106 views

Apparent paradox in special relativity: transmitting a message and setting off after it

I have a question about special relativity, which is set in the context of the science fiction anime Voices of a Distant Star, though it is independent of that context. Mikako goes on a spaceship ...
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80 views

Relativistic Time Difference

I thought that it might be interesting to calculate the time difference between a clock placed on Earth when I was born and a hypothetical clock placed at the centre of the sun at the same time. I ...
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1answer
88 views

Does anything apart from gravity and relative velocity affect time?

I have been learning about time and the different dilation effects of gravity and relative velocity. I was wondering, are there any other factors that can affect time?
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2answers
212 views

Time dilation only on electromagnetic force?

We've seen by experiment that the speed of light c appears to be constant for each observer (leading to all well-known consequences of relativity). I'm wondering if this appearance of constancy of c ...
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173 views

Is there an official name for “Lorentz Pairs” like energy and momentum?

In learning about relativity I've noticed that in the construction of Lorentz invariants (specifically four-vectors) two physical quantities that were previously considered distinct are instead ...
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1answer
515 views

Can a free particle absorb/emit photons?

As simple as in the title.. I would like to know also some mathematics about it!
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328 views

What happened to potential energy?

I was learning how charge can be virtue of a body's potential energy.Meanwhile,I was hung by this question. [gravitational and other forces except coulombic,are assumed to be not acting on the ...
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1answer
124 views

Lorentz transformation - need a little clarification

So the question states: A's and B's systems are related by the standard Lorentz transform. B simultaneously fires off two photons from transmitters distance D apart along the x' axis, and in the ...
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44 views

Accelerated charge in relativistic frame

An accelerated charge radiates energy as electromagnetic waves. Imagine a point charge at rest in an inertial frame We are standing on a frame accelerating with respect to the charge. Now with respect ...
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2k views

What is so special about speed of light?

I will try to be as explanatory as possible with my question. Please also note that I have done my share of googling and I am looking for simple language preferable with some example so that I can get ...
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2answers
288 views

Can a scalar field model gravity? How accurate would be the results? Are there any difficulties with such a model?

Newtonian gravity can be described by the equation: $$ \nabla^2 \phi = 4 \pi \rho G $$ where $\rho$ is the mass density, $\phi$ is the gravitational potential, and G is the universal gravitational ...
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200 views

Gravitation not instantaneous = non elliptic orbits?

When I studied physics some time ago my teacher explained that if we consider the gravitational atraction not instantaneous, such as the General Relativity says, the planets would be attracted towards ...
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4answers
849 views

Why acceleration is not relative in General Relativity?

I was thinking of it, If I say: "I'm moving at a velocity $v_1$ relative to a reference frame $M$ then the acceleration will be the derivative of $v_1$ relative to the reference frame $M$." In other ...
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2answers
222 views

Proper time for an accelerating object

As far as I have read so far, proper time is the time measured on the clock of an inertial frame moving uniformly with respect to another inertial frame. The concept and the mathematical expression ...
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0answers
37 views

How do we generalize limitations on the propagation speed of sinusoidal waves to limitations for transmitting any kind of information?

Our calculations on EM waves basically deal with harmonic waves and through such calculations and relations, we derive some relations and limitations for wave like phenomena. Of these relations are ...
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110 views

How to name different approaches to relativistic quantum theory

In the introductory chapter of the QFT book by Mark Srednicki the author notes that [p. 26] So now we have two different approaches to relativistic quantum theory [...] Which [one of those two] we ...
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86 views

What would a person *unmoving* look like on a Minkowski diagram?

If you were to draw a person on a Minkowski diagram, that was unmoving (though time was still passing) what would that look like? (As a light cone and ignore the observer.) Also what would it look ...
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1answer
83 views

attaining the speed of light?? [duplicate]

WHY our time would run slow if we move with the speed close or equal to the speed of light, and is that time dilation restricted to only just '' time' ' or it affects our biological time also (does ...
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2answers
85 views

How are propositions concerning spacetime curvature constructed explicitly in terms of coincidences?

Is Einstein's insight [1] that All our well-substantiated space-time propositions amount to the determination of space-time coincidences [such as] encounters between two or more [...] material ...
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2answers
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If I travel close to the speed of light and come back, why is everyone else dead, and not me? [duplicate]

Consider the following scenario: I get in a spaceship, and travel really close to the speed of light for a while, and then come back. A lot of time has passed on the Earth, but since I was traveling ...
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1answer
67 views

gamma-gamma collision seen from a relativistic rocket

This is a thought experiment. Consider two photons traveling at right angles and intersecting at some point. As seen from Earth these photons will not interact with each other because their energy is ...
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1answer
116 views

Why does Relativity effect the melting point of mercury?

I know there is a related question, that references the Dirac Equation, that relies on relativity, but I've just watched this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtnsHtYYKf0 Which seems to say ...
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1answer
444 views

Ephemeris calculations: Light time correction of the moon

I am currently trying to calculate apparent positions from raw JPL data. I've got it pretty much figured out, but there is one thing that's bugging me: Has the light time correction of the moon to be ...
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1answer
260 views

Can we live forever by taking advantage of the time dilation effect?

I have been reading about Time dilation and twin paradox in Relativity. So,I thought that if It can be the difference of 10 yrs between the Girl in space and on Earth, then why can't anyone not age ...
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1answer
263 views

If time stops for an object, does that object feel gravity?

As far as I understand The GTR, it is said that Mass bends space-time which causes gravity. So every Mass in this universe is flowing through space-time example earth is moving along with space-time ...
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2answers
408 views

Does a single electron moving at velocity $v$ have an associated magnetic field, ignoring intrinsic spin?

I have seen explanations of the magnetic field due to an electric current as being due to a Lorentz contraction of the moving electric charges. Would this explanation work for a single electron. There ...
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105 views

Which “space-time coincidences” are described by a “co-ordinate system in which the gravitational field does not appear”?

In Einstein's exposition of the foundations of General Relativity (cmp. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Foundation_of_the_Generalised_Theory_of_Relativity , end of §3) there appears an emphasis on ...
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4answers
119 views

How should observers determine whether they can be described as being “defined on a Lorentzian manifold”?

Consider infinitely many distinguishable observers, no two of whom ever meet; and who generally "keep sight of each other", but not necessarily "each keeping sight of all others". How should they ...
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2answers
241 views

What's a “noninertial frame”? [duplicate]

In some PSE questions or answers such as here (and comments below) there appears the notion of "accelerating frame" or (more or less equivalently) "noninertial frame". What's the definition of this ...
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1answer
80 views

Is it possible to accelerate a mass indefinitely using gravitational field?

As a particle's velocity increases, its mass increases(gamma times). Therefore, if a particle is in a gravitational field, the gravitational force it experiences must also increase(gamma times). The ...
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2answers
85 views

What is a geometrical object?

From the Wikipedia link for Geometry: Geometry (Ancient Greek: γεωμετρία; geo- "earth", -metron "measurement") is a branch of mathematics concerned with questions of shape, size, relative position ...